BREAST CANCER MYTHS VS FACTS
-By TOBI CALEB, ABH PRESS
Every October, people around the world take up the altruistic task of sensitising their friends, family and neighbours about the nitty-gritty of breast cancer, however a substantial amount of people (including some of the sensitizers) are still ill informed about the disease. There are some common facts about the disease that needs to be known, there are also some myths about the disease that needs to be dispelled. An article can not sufficiently educate the reader about all that needs to be known about the disease but it can whet the appetite and spur the reader to read avidly about it and preach what needs to be preached all year long, not just in October. I hope to attain this goal with this article.
Myth: Most breast cancers run in families
Fact: only about 5% to 10% of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary. Lifestyle and environmental factors can have an impact on breast cancer risk. Positive lifestyle modifications include – regular exercise, minimal alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy weight.
Myth: Bras cause breast cancer
Fact: underwire bras do not cause breast cancer. A 2014 scientific study looked at the risk between wearing a bra and breast cancer. There was no real difference in the risk between women who wore bras and women who didn’t.
Myth: Men do not get breast cancer
Fact: Each year, it is estimated that approximately 2,190 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 410 will die. While the percentage is still small, men should also check themselves periodically by doing a self breast examination while in the shower and reporting any changes to their physicians.
Myth: A mammogram can cause breast cancer to spread
Fact: A mammogram, or x-ray of the breast, currently remains the gold standard for the early detection of breast cancer. The risk of harm from the radiation exposure during the procedure is extremely low.
Myth: Breast cancer is contagious
Fact: you cannot catch breast cancer or transfer it to someone else’s body
Myth: Antiperspirants cause breast cancer
Fact: There is no scientific evidence to support the aforementioned claim.
Ladies (and gentlemen), eat in a healthy manner, exercise regularly, go for mammography scans regularly ( there are numerous centres that do this for free or discounted prices in the month of October) check your breasts regularly for the warning signs – lumps, nipple discharge, retracted nipple, read/heat, dimpling – and do not hesitate to visit the doctor.
On a lighter note, #NoBraDay, (a breast cancer awareness day when women decide not to wear bras) was celebrated on the 13th of October and some of the pictures are below. Enjoy!